Taranaki Both Barrels June 2019
Season wrap up
Final results of the game bird hunter survey are not yet in, but it’s looking like the 2019 season for ducks was about average.
Fine, calm conditions on opening weekend in some parts of the region didn’t help.
Those that continued hunting after opening weekend generally had pretty good success, with few hunters going home empty handed.
Pukeko available until Sunday August 25
Pukeko can be hunted in Taranaki through until Sunday August 25, with a daily bag limit of 10 in Area C and 5 in Areas A & B.
Above Right: Pukeko breast meat makes great eating.
Pukeko can be a wily bird that provides challenging shooting as they break from cover and the best way to hunt them is to get a few dogs and hunting mates together and undertake a pukeko drive.
Farmers in the northern and central Taranaki ringplain areas in particular will welcome a harvest from wetlands adjacent to maize growing or horticultural cropping areas where pukeko can cause significant damage.
Pukeko breast meat makes good eating, so please make good use of the birds you shoot.
Click here for a method of quickly breasting pukeko.
Time to chase pheasant
Cock pheasant and California quail can also be hunted in Taranaki through to August 25.
Although quail populations are now very limited as a result of the loss of rough cover, hunters are reporting seeing good numbers of pheasant in both Nukumaru and Harakeke Forest.
Concentrate on sunny corners with open areas of lupin, ink weed and patches of grasses.
In this country, not every bird provides a shooting opportunity, however if a bird beats you once it will often use the same escape route next time, which with a bit of planning can lead to its undoing.
Hunters are reminded that they need an access permit available from the Whanganui Fish & Game office to enter the Nukumaru and Harakeke Forest areas.
Similarly, once hunters get back into the less intensively farmed country with more scrub and rough fringe cover, then particularly along river flats and stream margins there can be reasonable numbers of pheasants within the Taranaki region.
This tends to be an underutilised opportunity and a good ploy can be to drive backcountry roads in the early morning or late evening at any time of year looking for obvious concentrations of birds, and then go and knock on the nearest door seeking the landowner and possible permission to hunt.
Reminder on duck band details
Please remember to send in any details of duck bands. If you've successfully harvested a duck with a band on its leg, we need your help.
This information is crucial to our research - so please provide as much detail as possible.
This is for our records only. You can fill out an on-line form via the link below and submit it, or post your band details (not band) to: Fish & Game, Private Bag 3010, Rotorua 3046; or to the National Banding Office, PO Box 108, Wellington 6140, or ring the free phone number 0800 BIRD BAND (0800-247322).
All band returns go into a draw for a top-quality duck hunting jacket plus a six-pack of state of the art decoys generously donated by Hunting & Fishing in conjunction with the U.S. waterfowling company Banded Holdings Ltd. Click below for further details
Allen Stancliff, Taranaki Fish & Game Officer